The Syracuse Orange are the 64th team in our 2017 schedule preview. The Orange finished 12-5 overall, and 2-2 in ACC play. Syracuse defeated Duke in the ACC Championship game for the second straight season, and edged out Albany in the Carrier Dome in the NCAA First Round, before falling to Maryland, 13-7, in the Quarterfinals. Let’s dive into their schedule.
The Orange will have the same exact schedule as they did last year, with a few games switching hosts. They’ll begin at home for the first four games of the regular season, starting with Siena for the third straight year on February 11. They welcome Albany on February 18 in what should be another great game, followed by a meeting with Army West Point on the 25th. The Black Knights played the Orange to a 9-8 loss and almost sent the game into overtime, but a last second Cole Johnson shot hit the post.
March begins ACC play for the Orange, as they wrap up their opening homestand with Lars Tiffany and Virginia on March 5. One team will take the series lead with 17 wins, the other will not. The team goes on the road for two games, beginning with St. John’s on March 11. But then, the team will go back to Baltimore to take on Johns Hopkins on the 18th. The reason for this is the Carrier Dome committing to hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament if Cuse earns a top-four seed. Alternate dates were looked at, but Cuse will host the Blue Jays for the next two seasons, with the home-and-home series staying in tact. You could see the game played on a different date in the future. The month concludes with a rematch of the ACC title game at home against Duke on the 25th.
The Orange continue ACC play as they travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame on April 1, followed by a return trip to Geneva to take on defending NEC champion Hobart on the 5th. Syracuse will host Cornell on April 11, before traveling down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on defending NCAA champion North Carolina on April 15. The team will host Binghamton on the 22nd in their final home game of the regular season. Depending on where they’ll finish in the conference standings, Syracuse will either play in the ACC Tournament beginning on April 28 in Durham, or they will play Penn on the 29th in the ACC showcase game as the fifth place team from the conference. The regular season finale is at Colgate on May 6.
The Orange lose leading scorer Dylan Donahue, along with Tim Barber, at attack as the team enters 2017. In the fall, John Desko used returning starter Jordan Evans with sophomores Bradley “B-Heat” Voigt and Nate Solomon. You may see some of Gale Thorpe, Devin Shewell, and freshman Logan Wisnauskas throughout the season as well. At midfield, the departure of Derek DeJoe is the only big loss at that spot offensively. All-Americans Sergio “Skert skert, that’s a foreign” Salcido and Nick “Cherry” Mariano return, and have been grouped with redshirt-junior Matt “Big Daddy” Lane. Nick Weston, Ryan Simmons, Pat Carlin, and freshmen Jamie Trimboli and Peter Dearth may also see some time. The Orange also got transfers Henry Grass and Brendan “DeRozan” Bomberry from Johns Hopkins and Denver respectively.
Maybe the biggest spot that needs to be filled is on defense. Gone is last year’s All-American Brandon Mullins, along with Jay McDermott. Sophomore Nick “21 Savage” Mellen will look to take a leadership role on defense as the only returning starter from the unit, but he missed the entire fall with an injury. Scott Firman, an LSM last year, was seen playing some close defense during the fall, along with Marcus Cunningham, who started the Cornell game last year, and Andrew Helmer. Tyson Bomberry is also an option. If Firman sticks to close defense, Austin Fusco will probably be the top LSM, with Jonah Swigart and Laz Chavez as other options. Tom Grimm leaves as a leader and one of the team’s top defensive midfielders. Cuse will return Joe “Gilly” Gillis and “The Life Of” Paolo Ciferri, who are also well known for some of their goal celebrations. Evan “GOAT” Molloy is back in goal after taking over for Warren Hill midway through the season, and Ben “Benny With The Good Hair” Williams, the co-leader of the world famous SU Sandbox, is back as the top FOGO. If the Orange have many guys that step up big this season, they will certainly be in the discussion for a return to Championship Weekend.
To see every team’s schedule and which one’s we’ve highlighted, check our our master schedule list.